What is hardware security? And why is it important? Explained here!
It’s crucial to safeguard hardware devices in the same way that software is. However, it has recently been discovered that physical equipment is frequently inadequately safeguarded. The article discusses potential threats to hardware and appropriate security measures that must be implemented to keep them secure.
What is hardware security?
Handing over control of physical devices to ensure that no one tries to access them without permission is known as hardware security. Enterprise security, which focuses on the protection of machines, peripherals, and physical equipment, is the domain to which hardware security belongs. Security personnel, CCTV cameras, and even locked doors are all viable options for safeguarding your property.
The second method of keeping hardware components safe is to create cryptographic or encryption-based operations on an integrated chip, which protects the devices from any type of security flaws and ejects attackers. To put it another way, hardware protection is all about securing items physically or through operational processes rather than putting up antivirus software.
When we talk about physical security, we’re referring to protecting on-premise devices from unauthorized human access or destruction. In today’s environment, given the risk of machine-to-machine (M2M) devices and IoT (internet of things) devices being hacked, this is considerably more essential.
A physical device that scans employee access points or monitors network traffic is a typical example of hardware security; for example, a hardware firewall or perhaps a proxy server. Hardware security modules, often known as HSM, are another approach to achieving hardware security.
HSMs are tools that encrypt and secure business systems by creating and maintaining cryptographic keys used for authentication.
When a hardware device is involved in an activity or executing code, it exposes potential insecurity gaps that attackers can take advantage of. Any tangible item that’s connected to the net needs protection from attackers.
The security of your critical hardware devices, such as servers and employee endpoints, must be maintained to ensure that there are no interruptions in daily operations. Internal users pose threats to these devices, prompting organizations to implement a solid and robust internal hardware security policy.
The Top 10 Security Threats to Enterprise Hardware Today
Firmware, BIOS, network cards, Wi-Fi cards, motherboards, graphic cards, and the list goes on are just a few of the sources of threat to business hardware.
An organization’s hardware devices and components each have their own set of flaws. This makes physical security an issue that is not only critical but also time-consuming to manage. The following are the top 10 business hardware risks:
1. Outdated firmware
Let us accept the fact that not all organizations have a foolproof smart device. There may be local producers who make IoT equipment, such as HVAC and RFID devices, with faulty firmware. Furthermore, if businesses don’t apply security updates correctly, it can harm the hardware device.
2. Lack of encryption
We’re seeing a lot of hardware devices become IP-centric. However, there are still many devices that aren’t connected to the internet using secure encryption techniques. It’s important to remember that data encryption at rest and data mobility is required. Attackers can gather any information that isn’t encrypted with the proper security standards and use it to get unauthorized access to your business environment.
3. Unsecured Local Access
Hardware devices, such as IoT and IIoT devices, are usually connected via a local network or an on-premises interface. Small companies may be inclined to overlook the level of access and wind up with an insecure configuration of their local network or access points, leaving their technologies vulnerable.
4. No change in default passwords
Most business devices include a factory password, which may be changed and must be changed. Many businesses, despite being technologically advanced and secure, may end up ignoring this basic thing.
5. Customized hardware
Because of the nature of their company activities, many businesses rely on customized hardware. For example, data centers for business and custom-built applications for heavy engineering and scientific purposes are two examples. Because the chips utilized in these devices are individually created, manufacturers may occasionally overlook security considerations when deploying them, putting them at risk.
Backdoors are software vulnerabilities that have been intentionally inserted into hardware devices to be discovered. The manufacturers usually use this as a method to gain access to the company network once the device is connected to it, of course, without the user’s permission.
7. Modification Attacks
These are most often used for disrupting the normal function of a hardware device, allowing attackers to take control of it. A change attack modifies the communications protocol of the engaged hardware device.
When an unauthorized person or entity gains access to a hardware device, he or she can cause this sort of damage. Even if the attacker does not have a constant connection to the said hardware device, an eavesdropping assault may be carried out with ease.
9. Counterfeit Hardware
This threat has been in existence for a long time, making it simple for attackers to target businesses. When enterprises buy devices from unapproved sources (OEM), they are opening themselves up to backdoor flaws.
10. Trigger faults
In this case, attackers may easily create faults in the hardware device and disrupt its regular function. System-level security may be risky to system attacks, which might allow data to leak.
Best Practices for Hardware Security
While hardware security is always a concern, certain best practices can assist you to safeguard your hardware equipment. Here are seven more best practices for businesses to follow.
- Always Source Good Quality Electronic Parts and Hardware from Verified Suppliers
- All feasible hardware devices should be encrypted.
- Make use of enough electronic security.
- Reduce the Attack Surface for Best Hardware Security
- Make Sure The Strong Physical Security
- Use real-time monitoring technology to be protected.
- Timely perform periodic and regular audits
With this information, organizations may keep their hardware safe from any potential threat. Of course, it should be obvious that attackers will constantly find new ways to break into the device, but these best practices also change frequently, making the life of hackers more difficult.